It’s now official: Laurent Courtois was named head coach of CF Montreal on Monday.
For the moment, no details have been given as to the duration of this agreement.
Courtois, a 45-year-old Frenchman, was until then the head coach of the Columbus Crew reserve team. He made Crew 2 the MLS Next Pro champion team in 2022, and took them to the finals in 2023.
“We are very pleased with Laurent’s appointment today,” said CF Montreal vice-president and chief sports officer Olivier Renard. Over the last few years, Laurent has accumulated coaching experience which demonstrates his ability to deploy our sports project with young players in MLS. »
With Crew 2, he allowed young people like Quebecer Mohamed Farsi and goalkeeper Patrick Schulte to not only experience success, but to eventually become integral parts of the senior Crew team, led by Wilfried Nancy. Team that won the MLS championship with Schulte and Farsi as starters, in 2023.
“We are confident that he will be able to replicate his success with the core of the team and our young talent, while helping us achieve our goals by reigniting a desire to win both at home and on the road throughout the season, adds Renard. In addition to his knowledge of the league, he has qualities as a leader, communicator and teacher. »
Courtois says he is “honored to join the club and begin this new adventure in Montreal.”
“This responsibility represents a great source of pride for me. I look forward to working with everyone at the club and contributing to the success of the team. I want to continue the development work started with our young players, while offering a dynamic style of play and emotions to the supporters. »
Courtois succeeds Hernán Losada, who was fired by CF Montreal at the beginning of last November. A press conference confirming his appointment will take place Tuesday morning at the Nutrilait Center.
On the Crew side, president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko says he is “extremely proud” to see that Courtois, a Columbus employee since 2019, “has earned this chance to lead a team in MLS”.
“Our goal with Crew 2 is to prepare our players and coaches for the next level,” he said. Laurent’s new role demonstrates the quality not only of himself, but also of his work within our organization. It’s gratifying for everyone here to see him get this chance. We all thank him for his dedication and contributions to our club over the past five years. »
The coaching staff who will support him in Montreal will be named later, indicates the CFM.
If we had to draw up a list of boxes that the candidate chosen to replace Hernán Losada at the helm of the team had to tick, Courtois had more than the profile.
Need a good coach to develop young players?
It has been said: his Crew II team has enjoyed great success since his arrival at the helm, winning 32 of its 52 matches in two years, and allowing the rise of Farsi and Schulte, in particular.
Need an applicant who is familiar with the structure of North American soccer?
After his playing career in Europe (from 1996 to 2011), he moved to MLS to wear the colors of Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy. He then served as an assistant for the Galaxy II, went through the Lyon training center, returned to the United States to join the Crew Academy, then was named head coach of the Black reserve team
Need a candidate who knows the Montreal market and the CFM environment? Wilfried Nancy and all his assistants at the Crew were probably not stingy with comments about the Montreal club before Courtois decided to sign his first head coaching contract in MLS there.
Need someone who speaks French to communicate with fans and the media? It goes without saying for this 45-year-old Lyonnais.
Born in 1978, Laurent Courtois began his career as a young player with Olympique Lyonnais in 1996. He had his first professional experience in 1998 with Ajaccio, in the French Ligue 2. He then traveled from France, to Spain (Levante), via England (West Ham), before joining MLS.